Reviews

No Tomorrow (2016) TV Pilot Review

No Tomorrow follows a risk averse and bashful woman who falls for a free spirited thrill seeker who believes the apocalypse is on its way. Together the embark on a journey to fulfill their individual bucket lists.

Warning, there are spoilers ahead.

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Right from the moment I read the premise for No Tomorrow I knew it was going to be quirky and charming. A show to make you smile. The promo released in Upfronts week further reinforced this. So on watching the pilot I knew exactly what to expect and it did not disappoint.

We start off by being introduced our heroine, the sweet yet completely awkward Evie, played by Tori Anderson. Evie is unhappy with her professional life, bored by her boyfriend and clearly feels something is missing. Enter her polar opposite Xavier, played by Joshua Sasse, who is all about seizing the day because he thinks the world is going to end. I’ll admit I was a little concerned at how the writers were going to handle this. I wondered if Xavier would come across as a complete nut job, thereby making it difficult to connect with him. Fortunately, they backed up his claims with some science, thus making his theory a little more plausible and him seeming a little less crazy.

Sasse played Xavier with a lot of charisma and as such it seemed impossible for Evie not to have good chemistry with him. However, at the start it actually came across as a little one sided. Perhaps this was because they were really trying to establish how shy and awkward Evie was so she could grow later. The slow build of chemistry was a little frustrating at times but they got there in the end and I look forward to seeing their relationship and screen dynamic develop. While they’re good together, they’re also great characters individually. Evie is very relatable, and I think her journey into living life to the fullest whilst having rather a cautious personality will resonate with a lot of people. Xavier is a lot less relatable but Sasse manages to make it work, despite the hipster tendencies (see: drinking pretentious gross beer).

Because it’s a pilot we don’t really get to see Xavier interact with a lot of other people, aside from his cousin which was a great end twist. We are however shown both Evie’s professional and personal life. The work side of things was fantastic, perhaps because the characters were so interesting. There’s conspiracy theorist Hank (played by Jonathan Langdon), sarcastic and sceptical Kareema (played by Sarayu Blue) and “Demon Breath” boss Deirdre (played by Amy Pietz). They were probably the biggest strength of the pilot, each 3 bringing something completely different yet hilarious to the table. Hearing Hank’s plan for the nuclear apocalypse and Deirdre completely tearing Evie apart made for great television. Of the 3, Kareema probably got the least screen time and yet made the biggest impression. Her blasé and blunt attitude made me genuinely laugh out loud. I kept waiting for her to reappear in the episode but sadly she was incredibly underused. Whilst in future episodes I’d like to see much more of Evie’s work life and friends, I could do with a lot less of the family time. It honestly felt a little forced and dull in comparison to the other storylines. It just wasn’t necessary. The show was already good enough without it, and it just served to take time away from more interesting characters like Kareema. It also may be why the episode felt a little disjointed at times because we were being pulled in directions we didn’t need to go. It seemed as if they wanted to fit everything into the pilot instead of developing it naturally. A better option may have been to add Evie’s family later on in the series.

Looking ahead to to rest of the season it’ll be interesting to see how they choose to tell the story. The temptation is to make it “adventure of the week” as they tick something off on their Apocalyst. However, that runs the risk of getting boring quickly. The way to avoid this of course is to have a solid and entertaining long running arc. Fortunately for No Tomorrow they need to look no further than the show’s own title and premise. The idea that an asteroid could destroy Earth by the end of the season is a thrilling one and gives rise to endless possibilities. Can they convince people that the apocalypse is coming? Is there a way to stop it? Or will it all turn out to be in Xavier’s head which will see him sectioned by the last episode? Who knows? But it definitely gives the show a lot of potential. And that’s really what the pilot showed us. With great characters, a strong concept and witty writing, No Tomorrow delivered a fun first episode that did indeed have me smiling throughout.

Pilot Rating: 3/5

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